The Reason Why Final Fantasy 16 Ditched Turn-Based Combat, According to Producer

Don't expect Final Fantasy XVI to bring back Final Fantasy's classic turn-based combat. The upcoming RPG will not feature it, and producer Naoki Yoshida explained that it was a deliberate choice to appeal to younger gamers.

Final Fantasy 16
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Credit: Square Enix
Final Fantasy 16

During an interview with Famitsu (as translated by VGC), Yoshida says that the turn-based combat, which was the only possible battle system when the first Final Fantasy was released in 1987, simply isn't appealing to younger players. As he explains, "For several console generations now, all character expressions can be done in real-time. Actions such as 'press the trigger and your character will shoot a gun' and 'press the button and your character will swing their sword' can now be easily expressed without going through a command system."

However, Yoshida doesn't see turn-based combat as a relic of the past. According to him, the system still has its place in modern gaming, but he's not utilizing it in his own projects just yet. "This is not an argument of what is good or bad, but there is a difference based on the player's preferences and age," he says. "I believe I know the fun of command system RPGs, and I want to continue developing them."

Yoshida compares the decision to just feature action-oriented system to the decision not to set Final Fantasy XVI in an open world. He explains, "It's the same feeling as not utilizing an open world: if you have a good idea, you should approach it, but if you feel differently and think 'it's better not to have a command system' instead, I don’t mind." Yoshida was clearly willing to explore the concept if the developers deemed that the game would be better served by turn-based combat system.

Related: Final Fantasy 16 Producer Explains The Upcoming RPG's Mature Rating

Final Fantasy XVI is set to release in Summer 2023 for PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Windows. You can read more details in everything we know about Final Fantasy XVI.

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